Script: As we go through the Step Up to Writing strategies, you will see how each of these is used to help students internalize the skills and logic needed for clear writing. (Read points on slides aloud as you click.)
Script: (Read aloud the “Gangs” paragraph .) Here is another middle school student example. Can’t you just envision the assignment for which this paragraph was written? The teacher has shown a video on gangs and has asked students to write a paragraph on what they learned. This student just did a brain dump until she exhausted all she had to say. As you can see, the material is random; there is no organization.
Script: (Read through the steps of the writing process. Click to add the components.) Students have been taught the writing process. They recite the steps from memory. An artist knows how to put paint on a canvas; however, just knowing that information does not make him an artist. Likewise, knowing the process of writing, though essential, does not by itself ensure good writing.
Script: So how does Step Up to Writing work? When the student was asked to write about gangs, she, like all humans, had lots of ideas flash through her brain. This is a web of how ideas may have occurred to the writer of the “Gangs” paragraph. (Click to build the web.) However, to communicate clearly in writing, one must organize these ideas from their random order to a logical, linear order. Here is the key to expository writing: The great ideas compiled in a “brainstorming,” or “webbing,” model must be organized into linear logic. The problem with the “Gangs” paragraph is that the student wrote the ideas in the order she thought them, not in an order that would make sense to the reader.
Script: So, how can we help students write? Let’s look at the five elements of expository writing: • Organization is the key. • Topic sentences (and later thesis statements) are the heart of good writing. • Transition words are the glue that holds our ideas together. • Examples, evidence, and explanation give our writing the meat. • Conclusions tie the paragraph together.
Script: Let’s take a look at organization, the key to clear writing.
Script: So how did Maureen Auman, the author, first help her students “see” paragraph organization? Let’s try out one of her techniques. Get a sheet of notebook paper. Fold it in half horizontally, then fold it in half horizontally again. (Demonstrate this as the participants are doing it. Cover this transparency and just reveal it a section at a time as you talk the participants through it.) Now grab a ballpoint pen and a sheet of colored dots. On the first section, write “topic” and put a green dot on it. On the second section, write “reason/detail/fact” and put a yellow dot on it. On the third section, write “explain” and put a red dot on it. Do the same for the fourth section.
Script: Now turn the paper over. At the top (behind the section on which you put the green dot), write “reason/detail/fact” and put on a yellow dot. Then, on the next two sections, write “explain” and put a red dot on each. Finally, on the last section, write “conclusion” and put on a green dot. Now, we are going to compile a paragraph. (At this point, you are modeling for the participants one method they could use in their classrooms. Middle school teachers and students seem to really like the colored dots.)
Script: (I recommend you only uncover one sentence at a time. With the PowerPoint presentation, each block comes in separately.) Let’s pretend we have been reading in class about cats, and I want the students to utilize their knowledge to write a paragraph about how cats are able to protect themselves. The topic sentence might be “Cats protect themselves in two ways.” Write this sentence in box one. Now, we said in the topic sentence that there were two ways, so let’s look at the first way. In box two, write “First, they are able to get away quickly from their enemies.” But how do they get away from their enemies? Do they fly or call a cab? Of course not. So, in box three, write “Cats are fast runners.” In box four, write “They can climb trees, too.”
Script: Turn your paper over. Now, it’s time for another reason/detail/fact. Write “Next, cats are good fighters.” We can see that this yellow also directly supports the topic sentence on how cats protect themselves. But let’s support this statement of cats being good fighters. How do they fight? Are they sharpshooters? Of course not. So, write in the “explain” box “Cats’ sharp claws can inflict pain and discourage attackers.” Continue with the next “explain.” “They can also use their pointed incisors to bite their enemies when necessary.” Now, let’s conclude. “Felines are able to take care of themselves.”
Gangs (Cover up the title line that says “fifth grade” when you display this slide. In the PowerPoint version, it flies in on your final mouse click.) Now, here is a paragraph by a student who has followed Step Up to Writing strategies. Compare this paragraph to the “Golf” paragraph. What do you notice? (Give participants a chance to volunteer responses.) Clear topic sentence. Stays on the topic. Easy for the reader to follow the logic. Ideas are well developed. Conclusion is appropriate. (Ask:) What grade do you think this student is in? (Now you can reveal that this is an actual fifth grade sample.) How can we help all our students write with thoroughness and clarity? Let’s examine the difficulties.
I work with a population of students who are new to the United States and speak little, if any, English. Some of my students have minimal education juxtapose others that are highly educated; what they all have in common is a lack of understanding for the English Language. Step Up to Writing gave me the tools to differentiate my teaching and accommodate students at every stage of language acquisition and Piaget helped me find the perfect words to describe these stages. curriculum necessitated that I teach an essay assignment to a group of new students who could barely write a sentence.
Context: Piaget’s was a famous Swiss philosopher who lived from 1896- 1980 . He wrote many books on the cognitive developmental phases of children. I decided to use Piaget’s theory of cognitive development because I think they mirror the process of acquiring a new language. Sensorimotor- 0-2 Preoperational- 2-7 Concrete op- 7-11 Formal- 12-adulthood . show only 35% of high school graduates obtain this. objects are represented using images and words, or rather they learn to use symbolic thinking. Students manipulate a logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts.
The first thing I try to do is make the students feel comfortable in the classroom. I want them to have a pleasant experience when they walk in. Calming music is played continuously throughout the day inside the classroom. Students are engulfed in a calming cocoon of spa music which immediately relaxes the class and helps the students feel comfortable and at ease. I try to create a stress-free environment. Music also resonates with those students who have a more aural learning style (auditory-musical-rhythmic) as shown by Howard Gardner's work around multiple intelligences.
At this stage, students are beginning to assimilate, as Piaget would say, into the classroom environment. The neurons in their brains are constantly firing and they are making new cognitive connections daily. They are learning to accommodate and adapt to the English language. Students are encountering new vocabulary constantly and picture dictionaries as well as word lists, and verb walls, help keep the information organized and manageable. The picture dictionaries, word lists and verb wall are pasted on the walls as well as in their notebooks. These organizational tools are also used as safety nets to assist the preoperational learner in acquiring a broader range of language when creating verbal and written sentences. TPR To help us remember some of the words we create physical representations with our hands or bodies.
Picture Dictionary with Beginning and Ending blends. These are created from the vocabulary generated from our Visions text books which are sequential and used by all our ELD educators in our district.
The Verb Wall is used daily in my class. It is a great tool in assisting students with their writing and speaking. It is also a constant reminder that shows the correct conjugation to use when creating sentences.
8 people in the audience have a flash card with the word on it. House Dog Woman Cat House San jose Desk man
Examples of classroom generated WE DO webs.
Functional Grammar used by Step Up is: Who, Action, Where, When, How, What
Sentences: In getting ready to write sentences we rename parts of speech into step ups functional grammar The preoperational students do this with my assistance The Concrete operational do this independently 2 Handouts Who, Action, Where. / Who, Action, When As they begin to create sentences, students use the Functional Grammar lists of: When, Who, Action, Where, How, What First, students use the words in a formulated worksheet which is labeled Who, Action, Where Then, students graduate to a worksheet which is labeled When, Who, Action, Where We also put the correct Step Up Vocabulary Words under the our corresponding Parts of Speech posters so students will see that they are directly related. After that, students must create four sentences using all the parts of the Step Up To Writing Vocabulary. Lastly, Students must label all the parts of their sentences.
I am going to show you how I do an I DO with my students when they are first learning how to use these Who, Action, Where graphic organizers. Who: The girl Action: is walking Where: to the house
Students who are still at a preoperational stage may only do one sentence using the other labeled graphic organizer as a tool to accommodate for the new more advanced writing assignment.
Here is a slide of the completed sentences that most of the students generated as a YOU DO.
This is a web cluster which the students and I completed as a WE DO when we were first learning how to write a paragraph. We are going to simulate that lesson here today. First we color the middle circle green Then we color the key points yellow After that we color the details red The topic for today is My favorite kinds of food Order the info. Will be called out by the audience: Posole Banana Ice cream Traditional food Spicy Smells like chili chicken
This is an outline of the paragraph which the students and I created as a WE DO.
Students are then asked to write the paragraph in small groups and highlight the components of the sentence using the Step Up color coding system
Completed WE DO sample of a highlighted paragraph in Step Up colors
Using Step Up to Writing techniques strengthens writing and organizational skills. Students are using the techniques for oral presentations as well.
What’s the difference between Expository and Narrative writing? - Handout on Two Kinds of Writing- Secrets/No secrets - Handout on Use Different Colors to Guide You- Note Taking of the two types -Quick notes for each genre -Point to Class Poster: Which type is it? -Handout on example essays and transition phrases for each type
Two Kinds of Writing (Secrets/No Secrets) Point out poster of Exp. Vs. Narrative
Now we look at two models. We do not highlight at first, but rather read them and notice that the Expository model has no secrets, while the narrative model has an element of suspense. After an introduction to the colors, THEN we come back and highlight the expository model.
Participants create a window pane. Anissa acts out a window pane. Now… Display Stoplight yellow page and the metaphor paragraph
After we have looked at the criteria for an expository paragraph, we glue into our notebooks, a reminder of what the colors stand for. Students WILL need to refer back to the colors, especially if you are not practicing everyday.
This is an exercise that we do together. Students have a very difficult time differentiating a yellow from a red. Or more importantly, WHY a red is a red. Any questions? We discuss that a red should explain it’s yellow! Many of our high school students are NOTORIOUS for rambling on from one key idea to the next. It’s just a list of ideas with no explanation, no examples, and it lends to a lack of organization.
After we have had a day or two of being introduced to the colors, we are now ready to apply more of this practice, in addition to being asked to write on their own. Now it is THEIR turn to write. Say, “Please look through your packet for the page that is titled Expository Paragraph. (DISPLAY ON DOCUCAM) Step 1:The first page is a student model. We highlight and critique student model, noticing if it is organized properly. Step 2: Turn to the next page. Students are given a writing prompt that will cover the SAME issue discussed in the model paragraph. Step 3: Turn to the next page. After brainstorming, students narrow focus to one idea and create an Informal Outline. The informal outline forces them to include all of the colors in an organized way. Step 4: Turn to the next page. Students write a rough draft, this time with transition phrases offered. Later we pull them away and they can use their list of transition words from their notebook. Final Step: Students give an oral presentation. STEP 5 will come later in this presentation, after the students have had plenty of practice with the 4 steps, and had some practice SPEAKING. This leads us to the next very quick but effective activity I do with the students to help them prepare to speak.
Please turn to the next page. This is oral exercise that reinforces step up to writing organizational patters that uses oral language to develop students writing muscles. I use gradual release- I do, you do, we do
Here is an example of my I DO!
Step upto writing
Step Up to Success:
Supporting English Learners with
Direct Explicit Instruction in Writing
Marisol Hood, ELD 1,2 Teacher, Del Mar High School
Anissa Sharief, ELD Teacher, Del Mar High School
Steve Sinclair, SCCOE, ELA Coordinator
To give a brief overview of Step Up to Writing
To witness Step Up to Writing Strategies at
work in EL classrooms
To demonstrate how Step Up to Writing tools
support the gradual release model of
instruction: “I do, We do, You do”
Step Up to Writing Down and Dirty
Step Up in ELD 1: Differentiating for
Preoperational and Concrete Operational
Step Up in ELD 3: Using Oral Language to
Develop Student Writing Muscles
Teaching English Learners to write is like
Teaching English Learners to write is like
being a short order cook because you need
to give students what they need on demand
and in short notice.
Stand up and greet someone you don’t know.
Take turns reading your “luggage” message.
Thank your partner.
Find a new partner and repeat the process.
Lose your “luggage” at least 3 times.
Step Up to Writing
Is about Tools
GGangs are just a bunch of people withangs are just a bunch of people with
nothing better to do. Gangs cause problems.nothing better to do. Gangs cause problems.
I would not join a gang. Well, maybe if I wasI would not join a gang. Well, maybe if I was
with my friends but probably not. My mom iswith my friends but probably not. My mom is
against gangs. The movies are filled with gangsagainst gangs. The movies are filled with gangs
and there are a lot of songs about gangs.and there are a lot of songs about gangs.
Stay away from gangs they are bad for you.Stay away from gangs they are bad for you.
2-1 (2.1)2-1 (2.1)
Step Up to Writing
Is about the Writing Process
Prewriting and PlanningPrewriting and Planning
Drafting, Revising, and EditingDrafting, Revising, and Editing
Creating a Final Copy,Creating a Final Copy,
Proofreading, and SharingProofreading, and Sharing
The Five Elements ofThe Five Elements of
Expository WritingExpository Writing
Organization is the key.Organization is the key.
Transitions are the glue.Transitions are the glue.
Conclusions tie it all together.Conclusions tie it all together.
Topic sentences and thesisTopic sentences and thesis
statements are the heart.statements are the heart.
Examples, evidence, andExamples, evidence, and
explanations are the meat.explanations are the meat.
Organization is the key.Organization is the key.
Great Expository ParagraphsGreat Expository Paragraphs
Cats protect themselves in two ways.
First, they are able to get away quickly
from their enemies.
Cats are fast runners.
They can climb trees, too.
Next, cats are good fighters.
Cats’ sharp claws can inflict pain and
Felines can take care of themselves.
They can also use their pointed incisors to
bite their enemies when necessary.
Smoking’s Health Toll and Price TagSmoking’s Health Toll and Price Tag
Although smoking may seem cool, it is very unhealthy and expensive.
Many people die from smoking related problems such as cancer, heart
disease etc. every year. According to World Book Encyclopedia during
the mid-1980s smoking contributed to 30 percent of all deaths from
cancer and heart disease in the United States of America. Furthermore,
cigarette smoking was associated with 85 percent of all cases of lung
cancer. Secondly, smoking is very expensive. If someone smoked one
pack of cigarettes every day that cost $3 for 50 years it would cost them
$54,750, which is enough money to buy an expensive and luxurious car.
On the contrary, if someone put $3 a day into a bank or investment
institution they would be making hundreds of dollars in only a few years
just because of the interest they are collecting. Clearly, smoking is very
unhealthy and expensive too, so don’t start smoking until you have
considered all of the negative effects!
Fifth GradeFifth Grade
Step Up to Writing in ELD 1:
to Concrete Operational using
Scaffolding EL 1
Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development
Concrete Operational Stage
Scaffolding EL 1
Piaget’s 4 stages of cognitive development:
1. Sensorimotor: learning based on physical interaction and
2. Preoperational: Learning is non-logical. Students follow
directions, but do not understand the reason for the
3. Concrete Operational: Learning becomes logical. Students
understand the reasons behind the directions and students
4. Formal Operational: students teach others and there is a
spontaneous use of information without the teacher’s
Stage 2: Preoperational
Parts of Speech
Step Up Vocabulary: Functional Grammar
Step Up to Writing Color Coding
Stage 3: Concrete Operational
I Do/We do/ You do in groups/You do
Saffolded Graphic Organizers:
Who, Action, Where, When, How, What
I Do/We do/ You do in groups/You do
Linear Graphic Organizer
Write a paragraph
Write a sentence about…
When Who Action Where How What
Last week the girl talked in front of the school and she did a good job.
2. Valentine’s Day
When Action What Who Who Action What
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and the school and the teachers will have a party and
the students will be happy.
When Who Action Where What How What
Tomorrow my brother will go to Safeway and buy eggs and cold milk.
When Who Action Where How What
Today I went to the party and he had good music.
It smells like
Step Up to Writing in ELD 3:
Using oral language to develop
student writing muscles
ELD 3 Steps Up to Writing!
Mostly early intermediate and intermediate
Majority of students have not passed the
Primary struggle: organizing and developing
Scaffolding EL 3
Expository vs. Narrative Models
Four Step Writing Practice: highlight/critique
a model paragraph, brainstorm, informal
Oral Practice with Stand Up/ Sound Off
Four Step Writing Practice
Step 1: Highlight and critique student model
Step 2: Brainstorming Web on same topic
Step 3: Narrow focus to one idea and create
an Informal Outline
Step 4: Write a rough draft
Final Step: Students give an oral
Stand Up Sound Off
Stand Up Sound Off is a fast and effective
speaking activity. It requires students to
quickly brainstorm on a topic, get organized
and prepare to speak!
2 Key Ideas
From Binder Paper to
After sufficient practice with Stand Up Sound
Off, we return to the 4 steps packet, and
begin step 5. The students transfer their
color coded paragraph onto colored
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